Predator Decline Bad for Ecosystem

    Published: 06-16-2009
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    A stumdy at Oregon State University says that we are losing large carnivores in alarming numbers which will have major implications for both local and global ecosystes.

    A researcher from Oregon State University says that we are losing large carnivores as a whole and that ironically we are learning about their important ecological effects just as they are vanishing.  They identified seven endangered species with significant ecological effects which included African lions, leopards, gray wolves, and sea otters.  Loss of these large predators allows the populations of grazing animals like deer and elk to thrive which in turn disrupts local vegetation and changes the dynamics of birds and small mammals, along with other myriad effects.  They say the classic notion of large predators as harmful animals that deplete fish and wildlife is outdated.  Instead, “human tolerance of these species is a major issue for conservation.”